Cold and flu season is upon us. My family has already managed to spend a Saturday afternoon at Instacare while the rest of you hooligans filled my Instagram feed with photos of your family frolicking in the pumpkin patch.
Not the most exciting few days my family has ever had, but we did spend a whole lot of time cuddling and wearing stretchy pants, so, SILVER LINING I GUESS.
The dreaded cold and flu season admittedly snuck up on me, but I visited my local Walmart and here’s what I stockpile for cold and flu season.
Put a box of tissues in every bathroom. In the thick of cold and flu season, just stash a box in your car too. TRUST ME ON THIS. Those little travel packs will not get the job done if you’ve got a young kid with a runny nose. However, travel packs go in every bag – your bag, every kiddo’s backpack, the Taekwondo bag, the swim bag. ALL THE BAGS. I had an unfortunate projectile sneeze in the grocery checkout line last winter that neither I, nor the cashier, are soon to forget. TISSUES. GET THEM.
VICKS VAPO RUB
My kiddos know the drill. Stuffy nose? You get a chestful of Vicks VapoRub. If you’re in really rough shape, you’ll get it slathered on the bottoms of your feet before you get fitted with a pair of warm socks. Yes, I totally subscribe to that old wives tale about Vicks on the feet. And I love the BabyRub for younger kids—it’s more mild and even I use it on myself when I’m not feeling like I need full strength VapoRub.
Nothing is worse than that woozy and weak feeling you get on day 2 after having spent 24-36 hours in bed blowing your nose and having a fever. And to add even more charm to the experience, nothing sounds appetizing. So we go back to our favorite comfort foods—in our house that means buttered macaroni noodles (in just enough milk to make them soupy,) instant chicken noodle soup (yes, homemade is amazing, but there is some sort of voodoo witchcraft in that packet of instant soup that has healing properties,) popsicles, and saltine crackers.
Yes, “drinks” needs it’s own category. Sports drinks, juice, tea, protein/breakfast shakes. Bonus points for lemon and honey. I managed to get dehydrated a few years ago and landed in the Instacare for IV fluids. Which was lame and embarrassing, because I’m a grown up and should know better. So now I keep all the things in my fridge and pantry—including kid-friendly chocolate breakfast shakes, because it can be tough to get calories into those little ones when they feel awful. We have a whole list of hot drinks for colds and sore throats PLUS what foods to avoid when sick.
Before I had kids I had a rookie medicine cabinet. If I got sick, heading to the store was mandatory because there wasn’t anything in my house besides some trusty pain reliever and a few bandaids. BUT NOW, I can give any store a run for their money when it comes to inventory because I know that there is nothing worse than having to drag myself to the store when I’d rather crawl into bed. So the top shelf of my bathroom closet is packed with my over the counter star players —DayQuil, NyQuil, and Sinex. My “mom bag” is never without a few doses of DayQuil LiquiCaps.
I’m a big believer in a clean-as-you-go approach. Because I DO NOT WANT TO GET SICK. The kids are usually first and if I’m on my game, I can usually stay healthy—if I stay on top of the germs. Here’s what I attack with bleach wipes:
Door handles (the house AND car!)
Fridge door handles
And anywhere else that strikes my fancy…basically where ever that sick kiddo has recently camped out.
Don’t wait until everyone is better. Clean as soon as one member of your family gets hit with the flu and then keep it up!
Starting 10/29, Walmart shoppers can save up to $5 on medicine cabinet essentials just in time for cold and flu season. On this date, look in the P&G brandSAVER in your local Sunday newspaper or at PGeveryday.com to find coupons for $0.50 off Puffs and $1-$3 off Vicks products including DayQuil, NyQuil, Sinex and VapoRub. This arsenal of cold and flu symptom relievers will help your family feel better this season.
Think about it. You’ve been down with the flu or a nasty cold. You really think putting that toothbrush back in your mouth is a good idea?! NO. Toss that toothbrush once that sick family member is on the mend. Having a stockpile in your cabinet makes this much easier.
Here are a few extra tricks that don’t require a trip to the store…
- Once a day (usually when the sick person is taking a bath or shower) open all the windows in the sick room—at our house the sick person ends up in my bed, so they have plenty of room and access to a TV—but I like to air out the room once a day to clear the air blow the germs out.
- After the sick person is on the mend, wash all the sheets and bedding and comfort blankets. All of them. Towels too. Clean it all.
- Wipe it all down. See “Bleach Wipes” above.
- Track down and wash all the water bottles. My kids manage to stash them all over the place. Hunt them down and give them a hot bath. No one needs a water bottle that is secretly hiding the flu.
- Clean out the humidifier with vinegar and let it dry out REALLY well before you store it for the next use.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of P&G . The opinions and text are all mine.
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